Keep your head in the clouds with your feet on the ground

Mahesh Aswani
Cloud Architect
Migrating to the cloud isn't as easy as 1-2-3. The cloud is not just another data centre. ‍Marrying up your services to make the most of public cloud services takes planning, design and, sometimes, refactoring.
October 23, 2018

Australian organisations are forecast to spend $5.6 billion on public cloud services in 2019. By 2020, local public cloud spend will reach $6.6 billion, and hit $7.7 billion by 2021, according to Gartner.

The question of cloud for Australian enterprise is not if, but when, and these stats reaffirm what we have been seeing for the last decade.

The movement of migrating on-premises datacentres to the cloud delivers undeniable benefits such as.

  1. Improved speed to market
  2. Higher availability/scalability
  3. Greater accountability
  4. Cost reduction and long-term savings
  5. Faster time to recognise failures and learnings

However, migrating to the cloud isn't as easy as 1-2-3. The cloud is not just another data centre.

Often, enterprises are sold on ‘amazing public cloud services’ that are made available, ready to consume, out-of-the-box - elasticity, auto recovery and on-demand - yet most don't realise that their existing legacy systems will need to be cloud enabled before migrating to the cloud.  Marrying up your services to make the most of public cloud services takes planning, design and, sometimes, refactoring.

Don’t get me wrong, none of this should stop you from starting your cloud journey.

To be successful on your cloud migration journey, you need a clear action plan, and it should be formed by asking a series of critical questions.

  1. Discovery: What does my ecosystem look like? Where are my constraints? Can these constraints be overcome?
  2. Technology Analysis: Which of my services are suitable for cloud and which cloud native services could I benefit from? How would this service migration benefit my organisations' goals and objectives? How would I go about moving my workloads? Where are my system dependencies? Which systems are more complex than others? Which services should be prioritised for migration? How should my cloud ecosystem be built out to support my business?
  3. Process Analysis: How would changes to my organisations' processes help me obtain the benefits of the cloud and help me obtain the organisation's goals & objectives? How would I govern my cloud from security, cost, size, distribution and best practises perspective? How would I implement these changes?
  4. Culture Analysis: How would cloud adoption change the way my team works? What skill gaps do I have and how to resolve them - interim and long term? How do I roll these changes out?
  5. Financial Analysis: Does it make financial sense to migrate specific services? What is my Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and ROI and can I reduce and improve these respectively over the years?

These answers will give you a powerful cloud migration action plan that will deliver a step-by-step cloud migration journey. This approach has been tried and tested by many of the top ASX listed companies in Australia today.

Developing a plan like this will help you to avoid possible gaps, give you the ability to look at your organisation in its entirety, and will adopt a modern delivery and operational approach without compromising quality, governance or security.

Migrating to the cloud is both a technical and organisational journey. Be prepared to help your organisation go through a change of mindset to not just embrace the cloud, but to truly benefit from the transformation.

Migrating workloads to the cloud requires a deep understanding of your IT landscape as well as detailed planning and execution. Starting your cloud migration journey is the hardest step.

However, starting this journey by yourself, without the right partners by your side, can lead the best laid plans to fail.

By asking the right questions, analysing the right data and with the help of an experienced partner, with solid migration experience with your desired cloud partner, you will be able to migrate to the cloud faster and easier.

Mahesh Aswani is a Cloud Architect with Versent. Mahesh has been kicking around in IT since pre-Y2K.  He has led and delivered end-to-end solutions, IT strategies and roadmaps for businesses wishing to harness the full power of the cloud.

When he is not trying to influence organisations on the beauty of the cloud, he is often wandering around the city collecting poke balls so that his kids can play Pokemon GO.

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